Avionics News July 2017 - 51
takes to the runway by about 6 nm in visual conditions.
As a result, Southwest, United and Frontier airlines save
fuel every time they fly one of these curved approaches.
NAC priority areas are not the only places benefiting
from PBN procedures. OPDs on STAR procedures also
help large airports outside of the metroplex program,
such as Minneapolis-St. Paul. More than 100 PBN
projects are underway for smaller airports with unique
The FAA is creating a PBN-centric NAS, which has
always been a primary goal of NextGen. The FAA outlined
its plans in the PBN NAS Navigation Strategy 2016, which
details the agency's PBN objectives from 2020 to 2030 and
The FAA's overall objective is to use PBN throughout
the NAS while employing the right type of procedure
to meet the need in question. In some cases - as with
metroplexes - this will include a highly structured, yet
flexible, navigation pattern. The FAA recognizes the
importance of involving all stakeholders - including
airport operators and surrounding communities - in
developing and deploying PBN procedures to ensure
that community concerns are addressed. The agency
is enhancing its community involvement during all
phases of metroplex and single-site PBN development,
including going beyond the requirements of the National
Environmental Policy Act.
In future deployments, the FAA will use a navigation
service group concept to provide different scales of
PBN operations for airports varying in size and levels of
airspace complexity. For example, Group 1 will include the
15 busiest large hub airports in the United States. RNAV
SIDs and STARs will be used at these airports to organize
traffic flows, with legacy ground-based navaids used as
a backup in case of a GPS outage. Groups 2 through 6
involve airports of decreasing size and varying degrees of
airspace complexity. In general, airport navigation needs
become less challenging in the higher group numbers. The
FAA outlines the types of PBN procedures best suited for
these different groups of airports.
Continued on following page
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